Hen refusing to use nesting box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by curtsey13, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. curtsey13

    curtsey13 In the Brooder

    May 31, 2010
    Pennington, NJ
    HI, we have an Orpington Hen that is refusing to lay her eggs in a nesting box. This has been going on for a couple of weeks. We have a young flock and she is the first one to start laying. We have six nesting boxes that are standard size, but she insists on laying on the coop floor, sometimes by the wall, or next to the nesting boxes, and the other day right under the roost (this did not end well, as the egg got crushed). Does anyone have any insight on how we can get her to change her ways? Thanks so much!!
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    [​IMG] Welcome to the forum! [​IMG] [​IMG] Glad you are here! [​IMG]

    Do you have fake eggs in the nests you want her to use? Golf balls or wooden eggs work great. I took some plastic Eastrer eggs, filled them with sand, and glued them shut. I'm convinced they work because when one got knocked out of the nest one hen started laying on the ground next to the fake egg but moved back to her normal nesting box when I put the fake egg back in there.

    Now the bad news. Even with the fake eggs, I've had a couple that started laying in the floor. They are creatures of habit and tend to keep doing what they are doing unless you can break them of the habit. I am around during the day, so when I caught the pullets laying on the floor in their usual spots, I locked them in the nest where I want them to lay until they laid the egg, usually about 30 minutes. It took one or two times of doing that to break them of the bad habit. I tried putting a box where they wanted to lay but they just laid beside the box.

    Are you sure it is only one hen laying? Once a pullet decides where she wants to lay, she normally returns to that spot once she gains control of her egg laying equipment. The first egg or two can surpise a pullet. They sometimes just pop out wherever she is, whether on the roost or just wandering around the coop or run. They do real good on instinct but they don't have a mommy to help them through that change of life phase. I suspect you may have more than one laying.

    Good luck! This one can be difficult.
  3. Joey8765

    Joey8765 Songster

    May 8, 2010
    get fake eggs and put them in the nest box, and move her eggs into the nest boxes.

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